Forever Home

 Revelation 21-22 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away. There was no more sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. It was coming down out of heaven from God. It was made ready like a bride is made ready for her husband. I heard a loud voice coming from heaven. It said, “See! God’s home is with men. He will live with them. They will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will be their God. God will take away all their tears. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All the old things have passed away.” Then the One sitting on the throne said, “See! I am making all things new. Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Then He said to me, “These things have happened! I am the First and the Last. I am the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty, I will give the water of life. It is a free gift. He who has power and wins will receive these things. I will be his God and he will be My son. But those who are afraid and those who do not have faith and the sinful-minded people and those who kill other people and those who do sex sins and those who follow witchcraft and those who worship false gods and all those who tell lies will be put into the lake of fire and sulphur. This is the second death.” Then one of the seven angels who had the seven jars full of the seven last troubles came to me and said, “Come! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 I was carried away in the Spirit by the angel to a very high mountain. He showed me the Holy City of Jerusalem. It was coming out of heaven from God. 11 It was filled with the shining-greatness of God. It shone like a stone worth much money, like a jasper stone. It was clear like glass. 12 It had a very high wall, and there were twelve gates. Twelve angels stood by the gates. The names of the twelve family groups of the Jewish nation were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side. There were three on the east side and three on the north side and three on the south side and three on the west side. 14 The walls were on twelve stones. The names of the twelve missionaries of the Lamb were written on the stones. 15 The angel had a stick in his hand. It was used to find out how big the city and its gates and the walls were. 16 He found out that the city was as wide as it was long and it was as high as it was wide. It was as long as a man could walk in fifty days. It was the same each way. 17 The angel found out that the walls were the same as a man taking seventy-two long steps. The angel used the same way to find out about the city as a man would have used. 18 The wall was made of jasper. The city was made of pure gold. This gold was as clear as glass. 19 The city was built on every kind of stone that was worth much money. The first stone was jasper. The second was sapphire. The third was chalcedony. The fourth was emerald. 20 The fifth was sardonyx. The sixth was sardius. The seventh was chrysolite. The eighth was beryl. The ninth was topaz. The tenth was chrysoprase. The eleventh was jacinth and the twelfth was amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each gate was made from one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold. It was as clear as glass. 22 I did not see a house of God in the city. The All-powerful Lord God and the Lamb are the house of God in this city. 23 There is no need for the sun and moon to shine in the city. The shining-greatness of God makes it full of light. The Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk by its light. The kings of the earth will bring their greatness into it. 25 The gates are open all day. They will never be shut. There will be no night there. 26 The greatness and honor of all the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing sinful will go into the city. No one who is sinful-minded or tells lies can go in. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can go in.

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life. It was as clear as glass and came from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It runs down the center of the street in the city. On each side of the river was the tree of life. It gives twelve different kinds of fruit. It gives this fruit twelve times a year, new fruit each month. Its leaves are used to heal the nations. There will be nothing in the city that is sinful. The place where God and the Lamb sit will be there. The servants He owns will serve Him. They will see His face and His name will be written on their foreheads. There will be no night there. There will be no need for a light or for the sun. Because the Lord God will be their light. They will be leaders forever. Then the angel said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the early preachers has sent His angel to show the servants He owns what must happen soon.” “See! I am coming soon. The one who obeys what is written in this Book is happy!” It was I, John, who heard and saw these things. Then I got down at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. I was going to worship him. But he said to me, “No! You must not do that. I am a servant together with you and with your Christian brothers and the early preachers and with all those who obey the words in this Book. You must worship God!” 10 Then he said to me, “Do not lock up the words of this Book. These things will happen soon. 11 And let the sinful people keep on being sinful. Let the dirty-minded people keep on being dirty-minded. And let those right with God keep on being right with God. Let the holy people keep on being holy. 12 “See! I am coming soon. I am bringing with Me the reward I will give to everyone for what he has done. 13 I am the First and the Last. I am the beginning and the end. 14 Those who wash their clothes clean are happy (who are washed by the blood of the Lamb). They will have the right to go into the city through the gates. They will have the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life. 15 Outside the city are the dogs. They are people who follow witchcraft and those who do sex sins and those who kill other people and those who worship false gods and those who like lies and tell them. 16 “I am Jesus. I have sent My angel to you with these words to the churches. I am the beginning of David and of his family. I am the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Holy Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty, come. Let the one who wants to drink of the water of life, drink it. It is a free gift. 18 I am telling everyone who hears the words that are written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written in this book, God will add to him the kinds of trouble that this book tells about. 19 If anyone takes away any part of this book that tells what will happen in the future, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the Holy City, which are told about in this book. 20 He Who tells these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Let it be so. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 May all of you have the loving-favor of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it be so.

It’s easy to throw away broken things, but mercifully, that’s not what God does. Rather, He’s interested in restoring this world. It’s reassuring to know this beautiful planet we call home, broken and marred as it is, won’t be forgotten in eternity.

In Revelation 21-22, we are shown a time in the future, when the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to join a fully restored earth. And in that holy place, “the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them” (Revelation 21:3).

Our God redeems and renews all things. Why? Because He called it all good and loves it completely (Then God called the dry land Earth. He called the gathering of the waters Seas. And God saw that it was good. Gen. 1:10). That should influence how we view both ourselves and the world around us. After all, this is ultimately our forever home. Yes, we anticipate a time when sin and suffering no longer exist. But all creation, even in its incomplete, fallen state is still lovely and should be treated as such.

Think about it
• Do you truly appreciate the natural world around you? How can you do so more fully?

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